Sunday, July 15, 2018

Krishnamurti and the Compassionate Face of Animal Cruelty

Charles Danten, former veterinarian


Virtue-signalingexpression or promotion of viewpoints, behaviours or actions, that are especially valued within the social group, done primarily to enhance the social standing of the person employing them.

Affection-slavery: The instrumentalisation of animals for intertainment, therapeutic, and virtue-signalling reasons.

***
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 
Matthew 7:17

Krishnamurti with one of his pets
My whole trajectory in the years that led up to my book, Slaves of Our Affection. The Myth of the Happy Pet, was very much driven by Krishnamurti's philosophy in the spirit of the following quote, which was intended to be the opening exert of my book: “When you negate that which is not love, then you know what love is.” 

So writing my book was basically a process of negation whereby I enumerated chapter after chapter why the human-pet bond everybody is so proud of is as cruel if not more by its hypocrisy and sophistication than factory farming or vivisection. After going through this process of elimination, my reader, I hoped, would be left naked like in Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, “The Emperor's New Clothes.”

Unfortunately, I found out later that Krishnamurti did not live up to his own principles, in a big way, as you can see in the attached picture. Although he professed kindness and love towards animals, saying things like, ”animals are man’s slaves,” he was an avid pet owner and animal buff all his life. 

I don’t know what he did with his pets when he left on one of his numerous and lengthy globalist propaganda trips around the world, but it seems odd that someone like him, a true vegetarian - with a major sweet tooth that killed him eventually, he died of a pancreatic cancer - would be a proponent of affection-slavery or of domestication for that matter when you know that domestication is by definition the negation of the true love he claimed to embody. Seeing a dog tethered at his feet seems completely out of character if you know a bit about his philosophy and the contradictions inherent in having a pet (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12) 

Proud pet owner and Affection-Slavery advocate
Gary Francine virtue-signaling with his pets.

The same can be said about Gary L. Francione, the leader of the animal abolition movement. He’s not only the happy owner of one or two dogs like most normal people, but of five. Unfortunately, even though he gets his pets from a shelter, by displaying himself in public with his beloved animals, he is implicitly condoning and promoting what he purports to abolish: All forms of animal exploitation and abuse. Which makes him part of the problem rather than the solution. 

The same thing can be said about all the leaders of the animal liberation movement, Peter Singer, Ingrid Newkirk, Oprah Winfrey, Pamela Anderson, Brigitte Bardot, and Paul McCartney, to name but a few. By embracing the pet culture with all their might, they are all accessories to the fact. 

I must admit, the stifling nature of the human-animal bond is not obvious for several reasons:

Dissociation between cruelty, pleasure, and affection

In our culture, we usually keep cruelty and domination dissociated from pleasure and affection, and this, more than anything else, makes the connection hard to see. (13) 

Yet, manifest or hard cruelty is not the only form of abuse and cruelty especially in more democratic societies, where hard violence is severely punished. The cruelty in a person cuddling a pet is much less apparent, but its effects on animals and nature in general are nevertheless as devastating if not more so than the more visible types of cruelty such as vivisection or industrial farming.  

Hard cruelty is episodic and punctual, it can be stopped as soon as
Deceased Animal Rights ideologue Tom Regan 
virtue-signaling with his obese cat and two dogs
 it’s detected, but not so with soft cruelty, precisely because its effects are not immediately obvious. To see them, reason, a special revealing agent, is mandatory. Thanks to this special “flashlight,” it becomes possible to see through cruelty declawed by affection, a form of soft cruelty much more perverse by its subtlety and hypocrisy than the more obvious forms of cruelty which are the bread and butter of animal advocacy.

In his book, Dominance and Affection: The Making of Pets, Professor Yi-Fu Tuan of Yale University shows how affection, a latent form of domination, is used as an instrument of power: 
Love is not what makes the world go around. […] There remains affection. However, affection is not the opposite of dominance: rather it is dominance’s anodyne – it is dominance with a human face. Dominance may be cruel and exploitative, with no hint of affection in it. What it produces is the victim. On the other hand, dominance may be combined with affection, and what it produces is the pet. […] Affection mitigates domination, making it softer and more acceptable, but affection itself is possible only in relationships of inequality. It is the warm and superior feeling one has towards things that one can care for and patronize. The word care so exudes humaneness that we tend to forget its almost inevitable tainting by patronage and condescension. (14)
Slave descendant, Oprah Winfrey, loves affection-slavery:
“What dogs? These are my children, little people with fur
who make my heart a little wider.”
In more explicit terms, here is how Italian ethnologist, Sergio Dalla Bernardina, sees this barbarism with a smiley face:
If slavery was abolished a long time ago, a large portion of the population keeps in their homes completely servile creatures. Through this relationship, any one, even the humblest and most self-conscious individual, can bath in the pleasure of being a master […] Those who like total submission prefer dogs or horses. Proponents of light submission prefer cats. (15)
In her disturbing book, The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery, Marjorie Spiegel, even more to the point, says the following:
We might look at the relationship between a dog and his master as just one example of what is sometimes a modern slave/slave-owner relationship. The dog is considered by his owner to be a “good dog” if he walks to heel, displays no great interest when nearing other dogs, doesn’t run except when allowed, doesn’t bark except when required, and has no emotional needs except when desired by his master. Many dogs spend their entire lives in isolation, chained to a slab of concrete or a tree in their master’s backyard. If a dog wished to do something other than what pleases his master – play with other dogs (socialize), for instance – he may be beaten or otherwise punished. All independent actions are thus discouraged, and the dog learns that he will win approval – and avoid future beatings and other punishments – by suppressing his own desires and conforming to those of the omnipotent human who legally owns him. If at any point, the master grows tired of his slave, he can simply be turned over to “the pound,” which euphemistically means that he will be quietly and secretly killed.” […] In short, “the owner of a slave destroys two freedoms - that of his slave and that of himself. (16) 
A way of seeing things – allow me to insist, perceptions are so
Pamela Anderson:  “I love something soft and warm
to touch anytime I want. I'm such an affectionate person.
I like to have something loveable around me all the time.”
 difficult to change – shared by psychiatrist Hubert Montagner, from the French Institute of Medical Research (INSERM):
Man does not hesitate to control every aspect of his animal’s existence. He tampers with its appearance. He confines it to spaces under his control, imposing exclusive or near-exclusive proximity. He limits his communication with others like it. He selects for behaviors that meet his expectations and conditions his animal to follow rituals. He imposes his whims and self-serving decisions. He encloses it within his own emotions and projections. (17)
And beautifying this unpleasant truth with various shows of affection, such as hiring a professional dog walker, using high-sounding words like companion, love, and child, getting your pet vaccinated each year, having it treated for cancer, defending it, putting boots and a coat on it, decorating it with jewels and ribbons, giving it rights, lifting them all onto the podium of humanity whether they like it or not, does not make things right. The problem is in the very concept of pet.

Brigitte Bardot exercising her right of compassion.

The use of animals as pets, massively condoned by groups like PETA, which have become the ultra-sophisticated promotional instruments of the pet industry, is thus a soft form of domination of the same essence as the harder forms which are practiced on other categories of animals like farm animals. 

This domination, which takes on various forms within these two poles, hard and soft, but of the same nature, is thus the negation of true love and empathy. Judging by the popularity of pets in Western societies, love is not the dominant sentiment but various forms of cruelty, its negation.


Conspicuous compassion

Love of animals, a sentiment that expresses itself in various forms of vegetarianism, animal activism, animal rights, anti-specism, veterinary care, or the mere ownership of a pet is a source of pride for most people. It was Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason who said: “Everything of cruelty to animals is a violation of moral duty.” (18)(19) For the Christian Church of the 19th century, to love animals as did the saints St. Francis of Assisi and St. Cuthbert was perceived as a way “to establish the pure reign of charity among men,” says French sociologist, Éric Baratay.  The idea was to eradicate “the taste for blood and cruelty, to improve Man for his brothers and thus to protect humanity itself.” (20) 

Slaughterhouse designer Temple Grandin: 
“Animals make us more human.”
Many influential people such as Temple Grandin believe to this day that pets make us more human. (21)(22)(23) Even Steven Pinker, one of Harvard’s brightest stars, sees in Animal Rights and America’s historically unprecedented fondness for pets a giant moral step for humanity. (24) 

Bad Boy Waka Flocka loves animals
Many more people wrongly presume animals to be better judges of human character than humans themselves. As a result, some people want to love and be seen loving animals specifically for the purpose of showing off their moral superiority. Celebrities, salesmen, bad boys and girls, and politicians are especially good at using animals, and children, too, for that matter, to boost their public image and to compel prospective donors, fans, clients, or voters to trust them. What they are really saying through this public virtue-signaling is the following: “trust me, I’m a good person, you see, I love animals.” (25) 

To question this love is a serious attack on the social progress associated with it, as well as an attack on those who have made a career out of defending animals for egocentric reasons. This explains in part why there is so much denial, anger, and resistance every time you even mention this topic. 

Scotoma

To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job or self-esteem depends on not
Animal liberation advocate
Pau McCartney virtue-signaling with his pet
understanding it. We have a built-in ideological immune system that automatically protects us from ideas that can put our survival or self-confidence at risk. While our eyes capture the world as is on our retinas, our brain performs an editing job in the shadows, a cut-and-paste operation, to adjust reality to fit our pre-existing ideas of it. Anything we see, read, or hear is unconsciously revised to accommodate notions we already have and take for granted. This phenomenon called “scotoma” is the unconscious exclusion of a reality exterior to the field of consciousness; a denial of reality; a psychic mechanism by which unacceptable representations are rejected even before being integrated into the subconscious of the subject, unlike psychological repression, which deals with something which is already embedded in the mind. This is another reason why some of the most absurd and destructive traditions are so hard to change. 

I say “absurd” because you don’t become a better person simply by “loving” an animal or being loved by one. Children raised with animals, for example, are not necessarily destined to become better human beings for it. At least one decent study has shown the contrary. (26) Many serious authors have also debunked this notion. (27)(28)(29) This is a touchy subject matter, so much so that many animal lovers consider it taboo to even mention the fact that many a hardened criminal has also been an animal lover. So I won’t mention Charles Manson, Pol Pot, and Jim Jones for fear of being pilloried and dismissed completely. 

PETA CEO Ingrid Newkirk

Sometimes, it is indeed cruel to be kind. As stated by Ingrid Newkirk, the CEO of PETA, all forms of exploitation and abuse are wrong, but even she fails to acknowledge that having pets is one such form. (30) As the following quotes demonstrate, she did when she first started off but when she realized that her donors were pet owners, she changed her mind radically:
Let us allow the dog to disappear from our brick and concrete jungles – from our firesides, from the leather nooses and chains by which we enslave it. (31) 
The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats ... If people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek it with their own kind. (32)
Ignorance

Few people know enough about animals to be aware of the harm being done to them under the guise of love and compassion. As reported in animal behaviourist Karen Overall’s textbook on the subject, only 1% of the public is versed in the biological needs and normal behaviors of the animals in their care. (33) 

How then can anyone see beyond appearances? Many people have written about the toll on animals, every animal lover has heard of puppy mills and pounds, but few people have seen the Big Picture. (34) When you finally put all the pieces together, the whole pet business is bleak, very bleak, not only for animals and nature but for people as well, as they are all interlinked. 


There is no winner in affection-slavery


References

1. Michael Schaffer (2009). One Nation Under Dog. Henry Holt: 41.

2. Charles Danten (2015). Slaves of Our Affection. The Myth of the Happy Pet. Amazon. 

3. Stuart Spencer (2006). History and Ethics of Keeping Pets: Comparison with Farm Animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics; 19: 17-25. 

4. Leslie Irvine (2004). Pampered or Enslaved? The Moral Dilemmas of Pets. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy; 24 (4): 5-16.

5. Swabe Joanna (1998). Animals as a Natural Resource: Ambivalence in the Human-Animal Relationship in a Veterinary Practice. Animals, Disease, and Human Society. Human-animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine. Routledge. 

6. Marjory Spiegel (1996). The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery. Mirror Books.

7. J. L. Vadakarn (1994). Parle à mon chien, ma tête est malade. Albin Michel.

8. Michael W. Fox (1990).Inhumane Society: The American Way of Exploiting Animals. St. Martin’s Press.

9. Yi-Fu Tuan (1984). Dominance and Affection: The Making of Pets. Yale University Press.

10. S. Wolfensohn (1981). The things we do to dogs. New Scientist: 404-407.

11. Yi-Fu Tuan. Animal Pets: Cruelty and Affection. Dominance and AffectionWork cited.

12. Sergio Dalla Bernardina (2006). L’éloquence des bêtes. Métailié. 

13. Yi-Fu Tuan (1998) Escapism. The John Hopkins University Press.

14. Yi-Fu Tuan. Dominance and AffectionWork cited.

15. Sergio Dalla Bernardina (2006). Work cited

16. Marjorie Spiegel. Work Cited.

17. Hubert Montagner (1998). Un élément de qualité de vie. Rencontres à Nantes, éditions AFIRAC: 5. In Talin, Christian (2000). Anthropologie de l’animal de compagnie: L’animal autre figure de l’altérité. Paris: L’Atelier de L’Archet.

18. Katherine C. Grier (2006). Pets in America. A History. Harcourt. 

19. Kathleen Kete (1994). The Beast in the Boudoir: Petkeeping in Nineteenth-Century France. University of California Press.

20. Éric Baratay (1995). Respect de l’animal et respect de l’autre, l’exemple de la zoophilie catholique à l’époque contemporaine. Des bêtes et des hommes : un jeu sur la distance; p. 255-265. 

21. Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson (2009). Animals Make us Human. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

22. Nathan J. Winograd (2007). Redemption.  

23. Karine-Lou Matignon (2000). Sans les animaux, le monde ne serait pas humain. Albin Michel. 

24. Steven Pinker (2009). The rights movement. The better angels of our nature. Vicking: 462.

25. Patrick West (2004). Conspicuous Compassion. Why Sometimes it Really is Cruel to be Kind. Civitas. 

26. Beth Daly and L. L. Morton (2003). Children with Pets Do Not Show Higher Empathy: A Challenge to Current Views. Anthrozoös, 16(4): 298.

27. Yi-Fu Tuan. Work Cited

28. Sergio Dalla Bernardina. Work Cited.

29. S. Wolfensohn. Art. Cited.

30. Ingrid Newkirk. Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia.

31. Bryant, John (1983). Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of a Changing Ethic. PETA.

32. Newkirk, Ingrid. PETA. (These quotes are available on the Internet.)


33. Karen L. Overall (1997). Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals. Mosby.


34. Charles Danten (2015). Work cited.